LEGAZPI CITY (PIA) -Now that the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the landmark Universal Health Care (UHC) law has been promulgated, new local health systems will be implemented in the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate next year.
Sorsogon and Masbate were among the 33 provinces and cities identified for the first-year implementation of the UHC law to demonstrate the approaches and mechanisms of its regulations, financing and governance.
These so-called integration sites, formerly dubbed as UHC advanced implementation sites and pilot areas, were chosen because they were the firsts that committed to implementing the law.
Just the same, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation in Bicol (PhilHealth-7) clarified that any province and highly urbanized city can proceed with the integration of their health systems if they are ready to be assisted by the Deparment of Health.
The local health systems refer to health offices, facilities and services, human resources, and other operations relating to health under the management of local government units (LGUs).
Augustus H. De Villa, chief operating officer of PhilHealth, said the local health system will focus on the primary care services where all families will be given health care providers.
De Villa said PhilHealth was coordinating with the LGUs to capacitate their rural health units (RHUs) to serve as primary health care providers.
For his part, PhilHealth Regional Vice President Orlando D. Inigo explained that the fund for the integration of local health system will be downloaded to LGUs in tranches. The LGUs will then distribute the funds to the RHUs.
"The RHUs will cater those patients with common illnesses such as cough and colds, and many more. If there's a need for laboratories or confinement, that was the time when the RHUs will facilitate appropriate referral, either to the hospitals or accredited clinics," he stated.
Inigo said the "no balance billing" policy will be expanded to all Filipinos through the implementation of UHC law provided that they are admitted on a ward accommodation.
Its availability will be ensured as the public health hospitals or facilities are required to allocate 90 percent of their bed capacity for ward accommodation, 70 percent for public specialty health facilities, and a minimum of 10 percent for private health facilities. (PIA-5)